A Reality Check!
Yesterday morning, we met with Muko High School Board of Governors. We learned about some significant new issues to deal with in our decision-making. This will be an important part of our agenda next Monday morning when we meet again at the Bishop's office. Hopefully, the Bishop will be well and back in the office.
Upon returning to the office, Diana began training of Prudance, our new Office Assistant. They went over Work, Excel and how to use Google search.
Sue, Guma, Dave, Generous and Herbert met about the security issue. We discussed the fencing for which we are receiving final bids, a uniform for Herbert, a bow and arrows for Herbert. We also priced razor wire for the top of the 8 foot fence. With these additions, we will greatly secure our building and equipment and make Herbert safer!
Sue met again with Mandela to discuss the next meeting of the Health Promotion Workers near the end of August. We put together an agenda for that meeting. Those ACT Health Promotion Workers who are also member of government Village Health Teams have some health training that they will share with the other Health Promotion Workers. Some of the Village Health Teams are failing due to lack of support. ACT's HEAL Program seems alive and well! Mandela was one of the first HPW that we trained and he is the Acting HEAL Manager. This Saturday we will be interviewing for the new Manager.
We worked more on the new ACT Library Room. The generous Circle of Blessings raised the money for this library. With the funds, we have purchased two desktop computers, and a desk. We have created a thorough list of books the staff will purchase for the book shelves. Prudance will be managing the library by allowing village people to come in to read at the Center, or pay a nominal amount to be on the computer. She will also charge a nominal fee for them to have Prudance teach them how to use the computer for information.
The music classes are going well in spite of the fact that students are in the middle of exams. There are times that classes are held without everyone in attendance. Students learned to store the instruments more efficiently and safely and continue to work on care of the instruments. In the mornings, the students are divided into three classes: beginners, middle level and advanced. In the afternoons, all students work together on two pieces of music, an early level of Pachelbel's Canon and a piece called "Sahara Crossing". Joe and Karen are working to present a concert on Monday.
Today, Thursday, we have spend much of the day training the staff in meeting etiquette and budgeting. A typical practice in Uganda when you are meeting with someone is for them to answer their phone and talk. We explained that for us that is disrespectful and we want to introduce that concept for our staff to set new standards in Muko. They agreed and turned their phones off. Dave did a great job teaching them about the concept of budgeting, even relating it to their own families. They really appreciated learning about it and it will actually lessen the load for Generous since staff will know whether or not they have money to request for their programs. We also shared how we raise money in the US.
Dick has spent hours outlining the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) we would use with the school should we decide to move forward. He has done a great deal of work toward this.
This afternoon, Karen and Joe went to Muko HS for another rehearsal. The rest of us were thoroughly entertained by our staff members providing training for us! They covered several topics including courtship, marriage, greetings, men superiority, herbal medicines still used today, social norms, etc. It was just fun, fun, fun to learn more about their culture. Lots of questions and laughter. Tomorrow we plan to share with them some videos we have taken inside a US home showing a kitchen, laundry room and other rooms in the house as well as video of driving by farms in the US. They look forward to learning more about how we live.